Categories: Vegetable Garden

Carrots – How to Planting, Growing and Harvesting Carrots

Carrot- Daucus Carota

Wondering, How to Grow Carrots in your Home?

If you are a beginner and love to grow carrots in your home then this article will help you by providing more stuff related to growing, caring and harvesting carrots.

Carrot is a root vegetable in the family of Apiaceae and is native to Europe, Southwestern Asia. It is known for its significant orange color, but are also available in different colors ranging from white, yellow, purple, red and black.

These are very tasty foods and readily available in markets or stores. You can start growing carrots in your home without any effort. Fast growing varieties may take 3 months time to mature and 4 months for slow-growing varieties.

Both the leaves and taproot of the carrot plant are edible. Carrots are widely used in the preparation of sweets, salads, smoothies, regional cuisines and leaves in culinary dishes.

For more information about carrot plants, read the full-length article.

Carrot Companion Plants

Carrots are much benefitted from the strong aromatic companion plants. They love to grow with beans, onions, rosemary, lettuce, sage, tomatoes, radishes, peas, and passion fruit. All these companion plants improve the growth by deterring pests, provides nutrients and also improves the soil fertility.

Do not plant carrots with parsley, dill, and anise as they damage the carrot plant growth by absorbing the more amount of soil nutrients.”

It may also result in yellow leaves, increases the carrot germination time and no proper setting of the carrot fruit.

Carrot Varieties

Most of these carrot varieties are resistant to pests & diseases and also provides nutrients to the body when consumed. Carrot varieties list is categorized based on its color, size and harvesting time of the fruit.

S. No Variety Harvesting Time Specification
1 Danvers Carrots 75 days 7-8 inch roots, strong foliage, conical shape
2 Chantenay Carrots 70 days 5-6 inch roots, vigorous foliage, blunt round tips
3 Nantes Carrots 70 days 6-7 inch roots, cylindrical, sparse foliage
4 Round Carrots 50 days 1-2 inch roots, a dwarf variety, hard packed soil
5 Amsterdams 65 days 3-4 inch long roots, heavy or shallow soil
6 Imperator Carrots 60-70 days 5-inch roots, vigorous foliage
7 Red Carrots 60-70 days 7-inch roots,  much sweeter
8 White Carrots 70 days 8 inch long roots, mildly sweet flavor
9 Yellow Carrots 70-80 days 9 inch long roots, firm crunchy texture
10 Purple Carrots 70-75 days 8-10 inch long roots, sweet & peppery flavor
11 Malbec carrots 65-75 days 10 inch long roots, smooth and uniform layer

How to Grow Carrot in a Pot?

Carrots are very popular root vegetable that grows very well in a loose, sandy soil and a good season crop that can tolerate frost conditions. The carrots that grow from seed may take 4 months time to mature and to reach the harvest. Here is the complete guide to know about growing carrots starting from seeds until it reaches harvest.

How to choose Carrot?

Choose a hybrid carrot seed variety to grow them in pots. Buy the carrot seeds from a store or online as they are readily available in markets and are cheap.

Before planting the carrot seeds, soak them in warm water for a day. Take out the seeds from the bowl, clean with a damp towel and allow it to dry for some time and the seeds are ready to plant. It is actually done to speed up the germination process.

When to plant carrot?

To place the seeds you must have a good pot or container which is of size 6-8 inches. Carrots grow well if the pot is made up of clay or ceramic and must have drainage holes at the bottom. These drainage holes help to drain water completely within a short duration.

Gardening experts say that ideal pH range for growing carrots is 6.0-6.8. However, it grows well between 5.5-7.5. Prefer a well-drain fertile soil to prevent stunting of root growth. During its growing season, you can also add mulches at the base to improve the plant growth.

Start sowing carrot seeds in a cool weather crop i.e.3 weeks before the last expected frost. The spacing between each carrot seed should be 4-8 inches apart. According to the USDA analysis, the carrot seeds should be planted in zone 8 and fall or winter seasons. Most of these carrot varieties may take 70-80 days time to mature and grows to a height of 25-40 cms. The carrot plants produce small white flowers after it reaches the maturity stage.

How often do you water a carrot plant?

Water the carrot plants about 1 inch per week.  Watering carrots may also depend on the season that you have planted. If you have planted in a winter season then you can water the plant very often hot summer season regular (on day to day basis)  watering is preferred. Do not over water the carrot plant as it may damage the carrot growth.

As carrots are cool season crops they grow best when you maintain the temperatures between 60-65F.  For the carrot seed, the soil temperature should be of 55-75F. The seeds will not germinate if the temperature is above 95F.

Pests and Diseases

Pests Diseases
Carrot rust fly Leaf blight
Wireworms Bacterial soft rot
Nematodes Aster yellow disease
Cutworms Powdery mildew
Leafhoppers Blue mold rot
Weevils Crown Rot
Spider mites Damping off

Nutrient Deficiency Symptoms

S. No Element Deficiency symptom
1 Nitrogen Pale green leaves, red tints, older yellow tints
2 Phosphorus Slow growth, strong purple tints
3 Potassium Curly leaves, browning edges, marginal growth

When to prune?

When the plant matures, prune only the dried or diseased leaves, small stems to encourage new growth. To prune carrot plants use gardening tools such as pruning shears or cutters. Thinning the carrots for the first time once they start germinating only when you find the stronger shoots (about 3 inches). If you find the weaker shoots of carrot plants, do not prune as it will not allow the plant to grow further.

When the carrot plants grow, you can report the carrot plant to bigger pots or containers once in every year. It is done to increase the carrot plant growing space and provides healthy nutrients.

How and when to fertilize a carrot?

Carrot plants are much benefitted when you fertilize with compost tea. Fertilize the carrot plant only when the tops reach to a height of 5-8 inches.

Like other root crops, carrots require plenty of natural fertilizers that are rich in potassium. You can also use Eggshells, Granular fertilizer, Organic compost, Epsom salt, Fish emulsions and Baking soda to boost the plant growth by providing enough nutrients to it.

If you feed the plant with heavy nitrogen content or uneven soil moisture levels, then it may cause the roots to split and forking.

When to harvest?

Baby carrots are ready to harvest after 50-60 days from the time of planting. Mature carrots may take 75 days to reach the harvest stage and when they reach (1/2-3/4) inches in diameter. Sometimes it may also vary depending on the carrot variety.

Now cut the carrot greens, place it in a container and wash carrots with cool water to remove dust from it. Store the fresh carrots in a refrigerator for a week and use it for cooking, healthy smoothies or as garnishing item.

How to grow carrots from carrot tops?

Instead of growing carrots from seeds, you can actually grow them from the carrot tops. It is one of the easiest ways to make carrot tops as pretty houseplants that has beautiful foliage in a sunny location. If you have already grown and enjoyed the sweet carrot vegetable, you can still get an attractive carrot houseplant from the leftover carrot tops. In this propagation method, we will help you to know how to propagate carrots from tops in water and soil.

Growing Carrot Tops in Water

Take a healthy long carrot and cut the top using a sharp knife about 1-2 inches from the leaf end.  Leftover carrots can be used in cooking or as a snack item. If you find more carrot leaves at the top thin in by making not more than 1 inch tall.

Now take a glass or bowl containing tap water and place the carrot tops cut side down. Place the bowl near window location to receive sunlight and also change the water for every couple of days. After 7-10 days you may see green sprouts at the top of the carrot and white roots at the bottom. It is ready to transplant it to outdoors for better growth.

Growing Carrot Tops in Soil

This method is mostly used at outdoors by the farmers over a particular area to yield high crop gain. We can use the carrot that has green leaves attached to the tops. In this method, we place the carrot tops directly into the well-drain fertile soil. Allow the carrot tops to get sufficient sunlight i.e.For a minimum of 6-8 hours a day. Water the carrot tops twice a day (morning and evening times) and make sure you water only when the soil is completely dry.

When the carrot tops grow and matures, you can start fertilizing now. Fertilize the carrot plant with organic compost or manure to bloom faster. Propagating carrots from tops takes less time (45-50 days) to bear the carrot than starting from seeds. In this way, the cultivators are much benefitted with huge profits and high yield carrot crop plants make them grow again and again.

How to care for carrots at home?

Root vegetable carrots are very easy to grow but they just need proper care to thrive in right growing conditions. Here are some useful tips to care for your home has grown orange carrots.

  • Water the carrot plant 1 inch per week to thrive and produce root vegetable carrots.
  • After sowing the carrot seeds or tops, fertilize the plant after every 5-6 weeks throughout the year.
  • Add mulch to the soil to maintain the moisture levels, speed up the germination process and block sunlight from entering the roots.
  • To store the freshly harvested carrots, twist the tops, remove dirt by placing under cold water. Let it dry for some time, seal with airtight plastic bags and then refrigerate.

Is carrot a root or stem vegetable?

Carrot is considered as a modified form of tap root system. It is considered as a root vegetable rather than a stem because they grow underground and absorb high amounts of nutrients and water from the soil. The carrot fruit is produced at the ground level and the leaves, flowers & stems above it.

Can carrot plants flower?

Carrots are biennial plants that can also grow as annuals. During the 1st growing season, it produces leaves, stems and tasty roots. You can see the white flowers starting from the 2nd season. These white flower heads are edible and used in soups, stews, and flavored teas.

Can you plant carrots in frosty conditions?

Carrots grow well in cool weather or frost climatic conditions. You can start planting carrots 2-3 weeks before the frost has passed in the spring season. Soil should be well-drain fertile soil with pH ranging from 6.0-6.8. Later you can transplant carrots to outdoors for better growth.

How do you harvest carrot seeds?

To harvest carrot seeds, keep an eye on carrot white flowers. When the flowers turn brown and dry it is ready to harvest. Now cut the flower heads carefully and place them in paper bags until they are completely dry. Store the seeds properly and start planting them just before the growing season.

Why my carrot leaves are turning yellow?

Carrot leaves turn yellow first and then reddish-purple color, twisted leaves. Even the carrot tops may turn brown due to the lack of sunlight and nutrients supplied to the carrot plants. It can also be due to the pests, over watering or under watering of the carrot plants.

For more information refer: Why are my plants turning yellow?

How to prevent from carrot flies?

Usually, female flies lay eggs on the soil layer near the carrots and then the larvae enter into the roots and damages the crop. So use neem oil or organic pesticides to deter pests problem and also to control the weeds that damage carrot plant growth.

Are carrot plants toxic to your pets?

Do not feed the carrot greens to your pets especially cats and rabbits which results in choking and makes difficult to digest the food. But is actually good for dogs teeth and they love to eat carrots with more joy.

Carrot Nutrition

Carrot is a root vegetable that is the perfect food for your health. It is highly nutritious, tasty and crunchy. On serving 100 grams of carrots or a cup contains 41 calories, 10 grams of carbohydrates,  5 grams of sugar and  3 grams of dietary fiber. It is also a very good source of vitamin A, vitamin K, calcium, magnesium, iron, and potassium.

Carrot Health Benefits

Carrots are the popular, versatile vegetable that is grown all over the world for its commercial application (herbal medicine). They can be eaten raw, cooked or juiced. Here are some possible health benefits of carrots that you may gain while making carrots in your regular diet.

  • According to the survey, the glycemic index of carrots is 39, meaning that blood sugars are relatively low. Antioxidants and Phytochemicals in carrots may help to regulate blood sugar levels.
  • The fiber-rich diet with an increase in potassium intake to protect against the blood pressure and heart disease.
  • Carrots contain vitamins and antioxidants that helps to boosts immune system, reduces common cold and headache.
  • Vitamin A deficiency may lead to xerophthalmia eye disease which results in night blindness. Carrot containing vitamin A prevents this diseases and helps you to see even in dark.
  • It also helps to cure cancer, protects teeth and gums, slows down aging, cleans the body and prevents infections.Start growing these wonderful juicy carrots at home that can be served as a snack item for your children. If you have amazing ideas about growing carrots, please share your experience with us in the comment section given below.

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Swetha Datti

Published by
Swetha Datti

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